Title: The Thirteenth Gate
Author: Kat Ross
Genre: Urban fantasy/Horror
Rating: Five stars
“Winter 1888. At an asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who’s interviewed their patient and isn’t sure he’s a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the shadowlands when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she’s ever encountered.
As Jack rampages through London, this time targeting rare book collectors, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he’s looking for. And if he finds it, the doors to the underworld will be thrown wide open…
Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Julius Sabelline’s death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker?
As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamor of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?”
* * *
If the five star rating didn’t say it loud enough, I will: I loved this book!
It’s the second book in the Gaslamp Gothic series by Kat Ross and you might remember I read the first book just a few weeks ago – read the review for The Daemoniac here. Book one was amazing and book two didn’t disappoint.
Harrison Pell and John Weston are back in another adventure, only this time their mystery coinciding with the fates of Vivienne Cumberland and Alec Lawrence, two agents of the London branch of the S.P.R (The Society of Psychical Research). A daemon has been loosed upon the world and is possessing everyone from London to New York in an attempt to get hold of a priceless and magical talisman: the amulet of Osiris.
While sometimes sceptical of magical things, Harry is forced to realise that ghouls, demons and magic are in fact real and they will wreak a plague on the world if allowed. Twelve gates stand between the real world and the world of the dead (The Dominion) but the daemon has found a thirteenth that has materialised in New York City itself. Harry, John, Vivienne and Lawrence are in a race against time to find it and stop the daemon before all hell breaks loose, literally.
I was a bit worried when I first started reading that Harry and John wouldn’t appear in this book at all. But halfway through, they appear to become a big part of the story and I was so relieved! Vivienne and Alec are similarly great characters and I really learned to love them once I got to know them, but I did miss Harry and John.
As ever, Kat Ross weaves an intricate, magical mystery that gets darker and darker as the plot thickens. This book does go to some even darker places than the first one but as ever, it elicits intriguing feelings as well as unsettling ones.
Unlike The Daemoniac, The Thirteenth Gate has a lot more magic in it and I was left in no doubt that this was an urban fantasy. Talismans, the mysterious supernatural creature “daeva” and the daemons themselves really make for a magical maelstrom.
All in all, it’s an amazing book and I can’t believe Kat Ross is basically giving away her first two books. The Daemoniac is free on Amazon right now and The Thirteenth Gate is free with a subscription her newsletter! It seems almost criminal.
Thanks for reading! Read the other The Secret Library book reviews here!